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PostSubject: welcome to hell   Mon May 07, 2018 12:42 am

Almost every day since they moved to Suiden Hamlet to live with Auntie Mabel and Uncle Frank (Toulouse had been three, and Vivi just barely two), Toulouse had walked passed Sir Henry's Elementary, and had found it lacking. Almost all of the buildings in the hamlet were careworn and shambled, but to be honest, the elementary school took this to new levels. plonked in the middle of the hamlet, in a little grassy clearing surrounded by houses and their few general stores without even a fence between them to differentiate the 'school yard' from the public space, there were no fun playground toys, there wasn't a swing set or a climbing frame - heck, there wasn't even an area for hopscotch! The only thing leading up to the front doors was a little dirt track. The building itself was more of a glorified beach hut with the faded, peeling words 'Sir Henry's' stamped above the squeaky door, and a grotesque statue of a very hairy man in a big, poufy skirt out front. In a word, it was embarrassing.

Very little embarrassed Toulouse quite as much as going to school here would.

He tugged his hand free of Vivi's clammy, sticky fingers and tugged his tatty school bag up higher on his shoulder. The morning was cool and damp around him, blackbirds and sparrows singing from the trees, interspersed by rustling leaves, wailing gulls coming in from the coast after a morning trip to the docks, and the screaming of the fifteen older students. Beside him, Vivi was fidgeting with the hem of the bright yellow dress their Ma made her so she wouldn't be upset. Ma had offered to made Toulouse something too, but he was a Big Brother, and he wasn't scared or sad at all, because it was his Responsibility to be brave for both of them.

Ma paused a good few meters from the entrance, Auntie Mabel coming to a halt beside her, the pair gossiping incessantly and totally ignoring their children. Toulouse paused and peered over his shoulder, to see that further back down the scruffy dirt path, his new cousin, Chi, was studying the creepy statue with a look weirdly like awe. (Toulouse didn't mind Chi - even if she did smell of wet dog - but there was little doubt that her Shiba Inu familiar, Oz, was the dumbest, weirdest animal on the planet, thereby making Chi weird, too.)

"Chi," he said, raising his voice to be heard over the noisy chatter of some older girls he knew as 'the neighbours' kids' (though in a place as small as Suiden, that meant pretty much everyone), and tipped his head in a beckoning gesture when she and Oz looked up. "We gotta go inside."

"Coming," she replied with a small smile and a skip in her step that pronounced a total lack of fear (or dread) of the day ahead of them. And sure, at least the three of them were together, united in the face of their first day in Elementary, but that didn't change how much Toulouse already hated it here. He was a very determined boy, and right now he was putting all of his determination into being remarkably grumpy.

"Hurry up, slowpoke," he groused, and then yelped, showing his teeth when Vivi pinched his arm. From around the collar of her fancy new dress poked out the blunt, ugly face of her familiar, Miller the bull snake - hissing and showing her pin-sized fangs. So just as pleasant as usual, then. "Ow, Vivi, stop it."

"Well you stop being a bully, then," his little sister replied, with all the bite and scorn she borrowed from their Ma, whenever Ma got angry at someone (usually Dad, over the phone).

Making a growl sound and pushing her hand away when she reached out to pinch him a second time (for good measure), Toulouse spun on his heels and stormed off towards the grotty doors, completely bypassing the afterthought of 'good luck' that his Ma and Auntie called after him, and shoving past some redhead boy holding a potted plant.

"Don't blame me when you guys turn up late to our first stinking class then, dumby," he said, shouting harshly over his shoulder and doing his best to ignore the fact that his own familiar, Lamp, wasn't there with him. Who needed a stupid familiar or a little sister or a new cousin anyway? It didn't matter, because either way, school was gonna suck.
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PostSubject: Re: welcome to hell   Mon May 07, 2018 1:09 am

April. Usually the most pleasant month of the year. A varied mixture of rain and sun, where the weather was neither too hot or too cold. This time last year William was curled up beside his bedroom window, flicking through the pictures of an old fairy tail book he'd found in his father's office. While William was constantly being told by other adults in the Hamlet of Suiden that his reading skill was impressive for someone who had not yet started school, it had frustrated him that he hadn't been able to read all the words well enough to understand the story without help.

This year he was conflicted. On one hand he would be learning how to read properly, and would hopefully have more access to books that his father didn't have, but on the other he had to share a class room with all of them.
Stomach clenching unpleasantly, William made his way through the school gates, his blue eyes evaluating the children in the yard, trying to figure out which ones would be in his class.

In his school bag Gabriel wriggled in annoyance, he'd rather be home to, stretched out in the sun where it was quiet and peaceful, rather than being forced to spent the best part of the day amongst loud and excitable company. Perhaps if he just turned around and went home no one would notice, father was away in Shiro anyway, and if he was quiet enough grandma probably wouldn't hear him returning. William was almost entirely committed to this plan when another group of children entered the yard behind him, one girl practically elbowing him in her hurry to get past.

"Give it back you cow! It's mine!" A red haired girl, who didn't look much older than himself was hot in pursuit of a slightly older girl with the almost exact same shade of hair. The Burdett sisters he assumed, as the rest of the rabble went in to weigh in their own opinion on the bag being held above the head of the youngest. All four seemed to be surrounded by various big cat cubs who were yowling and snarling around them.
He would have stayed to watch as the younger girl tackled her sister to the ground, while all sorts of profanities were screamed, until the eldest broke it up, but he didn't care.

There were a few others as well. A brown haired girl being cuddled aggressively by an older looking couple, and a dark haired boy being lectured by an older boy who looked similar enough to him, for William to assume they were related. But then again, who wasn't related in some way in this hamlet, he'd seen the family trees, he knew.

Finding a quiet spot near the entrance to the school, William leant back against the wooden wall to wait. Hopefully someone would call them in soon, then he could just focus on getting this day over and done with.
Opening up the flap of his bag, he rubbed his fingers between Gabriel's ears soothingly, hoping that his familiar didn't bolt and abandon him here. Thankfully the Swedish Hare only grumbled irritably, pinning his long ears back sharply against his head, eyeing the six-year-old blonde like this was all his fault.

"I have to go to school, it's the law" William whispered, "It would hardly look good if the Mayor's son didn't turn up to his first day."
The rabbit glared back, back feet thumping on the material of his bag, exerting a rather uncomfortable force on his arm as William did his best to keep the bag steady.
"When we get home we can just relax okay, but you just have to put up with this first, same as me." With that speech delivered, he closed the flap of his bag again to leave Gabriel to sulk in the open and honest way he wanted to.

This was going to be a very long day.
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